A housing shortage, serious crime, poor educational achievement and child poverty are still prevalent issues in New Zealand that the Government needs to focus on.
According to the eighth Salvation Army’s 2015 State of the Nation report released this morning, the Government has received a ‘D’ grade for housing on the report’s social well-being score card.
The report identified a housing supply shortage of 13,000 houses in Auckland and Major Sue Hay, Director of The Salvation Army Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit says, “More houses are needed immediately in Auckland and Christchurch. They must be affordable for all levels of income. Government actions are not delivering sufficient affordable homes.”
Serious violence and domestic violence are also issues identified as needing serious focus and attention. Report author, Alan Johnson says “Consistency in the levels of violent crime – particularly domestic violence – and the decreased ability of the police to resolve violent crime is alarming,”
The report also criticises the Ministry of Education and its failure to report on Early Childhood Education and Care enrolments. “The Ministry of Education receives $1.5 billion of taxpayer funding to operate ECEC centres. Their inability to account for the social outcomes they are achieving in a timely manner is very regrettable,”
While some serious issues needing major focus were identified, the report outlines that there have been improvements in falling teenage pregnancy rates, prisoner recidivism, living costs and food poverty. These issues all achieved scores of B+ or better.